Improving Access Outcomes in Mental Health Treatment

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Presenting Author(s): Dr. Richard Hibbard, BSc (Pharmacy), MD

Date and time: 23 Mar 2019 from 13:30 to 14:10

Location: Hawthorn B  Floor Map


  1. To enhance literacy in clinical science for community psychiatrists;
  2. To enhance literacy in behavioral neuroscience as applied to behavioral treatments in the community; and
  3. To motivate psychiatrists to apply clinical science and behavioral science methods to improve public access to and outcome of treatment.

Literature References

  1. Onken LS, Carroll KM, Shoham V, et al. "Re-envisioning clinical science: unifying the discipline to improve the public health." Clin
    Psychol Sci. 2014;2(1):22-34.
  2. Hayes, S. C., et al. (2013). "Treatment development: Can we find a better way?" Clinical psychology review 33(7): 870-882.
  3. Hibbard, R. (2017). "The Psychiatrist as Clinical Behavioural Scientist." The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry: Volume 62 (8) 517-520.


Application of clinical science methods has led to remarkable gains in some areas of health care. Although efficacious behavioural treatments exist for anxiety, depression, and related disorders, patients seeking treatments rarely receive them due to challenges with
implementation in community mental health settings. Psychiatrists are in a unique position to assume a leadership role as clinical behavioural scientists in the development, evaluation, implementation, and dissemination of behavioural treatments in the community.
This will require a commitment to expand psychiatrists’ knowledge of and expertise in behavioural treatments, evaluation research, and leadership in revamping the mental health care system.

This presentation will provide a review of the clinical science models of efficacy and effectiveness, then provide a theoretical behavioural neuroscience model of four brain systems that are relevant to treatment of mental disorders: attention control, behavioural control, cognitive function, and attachment. This will be followed by a generic summary of interventions that target these four systems.

Measurement of outcome is essential to evaluate strategies aimed at enhancing effectiveness in the community of treatments with proven efficacy, and is also essential to assess the result of strategies for improving access such as stepped care and a greater focus
on group interventions.

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